Her name is Betsy Ross!
Meet one of our newest animal ambassadors: a young, female bald eagle. We estimate her to be approximately 4 years old, based on her coloration. Young eagles do not have a white head or tail. It takes around 5 years for them to mature into the recognizable coloration we are all used to. The brown and white coloration shows that the bird is an adult and ready to mate.
We all are familiar with bald eagles, but have you ever wondered where the name came from? You might guess that its white head makes it look bald, but that’s not it! There is an old English word, “balde” which means white. We get the word “piebald” from this as well. Piebald means a mix of dark and white coloration, so it is easy to see why eagles would get a name relating to this word. So the name “bald eagle” originated from the old English word “balde”.
Our new bald eagle came to us from a rehabilitation facility in Ramona, CA after suffering an injury to her wing. This resulted in the loss of sustained flight, and so she was not a suitable candidate for release back to the wild. Instead, she came to her forever home at the Living Coast Discovery Center.
How did she get her name? Well, many of you already may know that we have a second bald eagle – an approx. 25-year-old male named Franklin (after Benjamin Franklin). We opened up the naming of our new eagle to a contest among visiting students. We got a lot of submissions, but one stood out: Betsy Ross. Going with a patriotic theme with our eagles, Betsy Ross is credited with sewing the first American flag.
Betsy (the eagle) resides in Eagle Mesa where you can come visit her and learn about eagles and other birds of prey. At 2:30pm every day during our Eagle Presentation, you can watch her eat her gourmet mice and rats which have been specially prepared for her by our animal care staff.See you there!